Thursday, September 6, 2012
Name behind the Art Ross Trophy
By ESPN.com staff
Art Ross spent his years as a player with a number of different leagues: the Canadian Amateur Hockey League, the Manitoba Hockey League, the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association, the Canadian Hockey Association, the National Hockey Association and lastly the National Hockey League.
Earning the reputation as one of the top rushing defensemen in the game, Ross was part of successful Stanley Cup challenges with the Kenora Thistles in 1907 and the Montreal Wanderers in 1908.
Ross was playing for the Wanderers when they joined the NHL in 1917. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed their arena and the team withdrew from the league. Ross retired as a player at this time, having played only three NHL games.
With his playing career behind him, Ross became an on-ice official for a short period of time.
After coaching for the Hamilton Tigers’ senior club, he became the head coach of the new NHL franchise in Boston.
Ross worked for the Boston Bruins from 1924-54 as either a coach or the general manager. In that time, the Bruins won three Stanley Cups and finished first in the league 10 times.
He also argued for the adoption of synthetic rubber pucks, as opposed to natural rubber pucks, and got square nets replaced with the rounded-back version.
For the 1947-48 season, the NHL introduced the Art Ross Trophy to be awarded annually to the league’s top scorer. In 1954, Ross was part of the inaugural class elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Despite being better-known for his contributions to the game, Ross joined the Hall as a player, not a builder.
In 1964, Ross died in a suburb of Boston, where he had lived since joining the Bruins’ organization.
Information from the Hockey Hall of Fame was used in this report.